30 degrees makes a big difference

Fair warning: no pictures today.  We left Yakima, Washington headed for Missoula, Montana.  By the time we pulled out at around 9:00 local time, the temp was already over 80 degrees.  We stopped at the Harley dealer for some t-shirt looking (no buying) and were on our way.  The first 100 miles consisted of US highways 24 and 26   The temperature on the bike read 101. I was concerned that we were getting dehydrated from the sun and wind at 65 MPH.  The roads were rough – washboard style.  The great accomplishment was that we made a phone call using the Bluetooth that is built into the bike’s “infotainment” system.  If it had not been an urgent matter, we would never have made the effort – Jana’s library books were due.

We were about 80 miles in to the first 100 and stopped at a small convenience store for more water.  It must have been lunch time because the place went from empty to 6 or 7 deep at the check-out.  While I was waiting in line I noticed the cars outside.  The Washington plates bear the state nickname – The Evergreen State.  We had just ridden 80 miles through the driest, non-green scenery you can imagine.  The Evergreen State must be an inside joke.

On the road for another 20 miles and onto the super-slab.  I-395 to I-90 where we spent the rest of the day.  It was just as hot as the US highway.  I pulled in to a rest stop where a local teachers group had set up refreshments and were asking for small donations if you participated.  They had lemonade so I was all over it.  They also had a variety of snacks packed in small plastic bags.  I chose the ones with pretzels and M&M’s thrown in together.  Let me tell you at 100 degrees the M&M slogan falls apart – they do melt in your hand long before you can get them in your mouth.

We crossed from Washington to Idaho and it was time to stop again.  I chose a small café that I found on the GPS (Sam’s Café decorated with Route 66 items).  The server had just taken our order when 5 or 6 car loads of people decided to join us for lunch.  They were participants in some kind of bicycle event.  I thought they were there to watch the Indiana bikers melt in the summer sunshine.

As we moved along I-90, the temperature began to get a little more bearable.  It went from 101 down to 95.  Still hot but it helped a lot.  The elevation kept going up and the temp going down.  It was now down to 88 and I was a lot happier.  It didn’t stop there.  I watched as the temp dropped from 88 to 81 then 75.  Jana was trying to keep her hands out of the air blast so I knew she was getting cold riding only with a long sleeve shirt over her blouse for wind protection.  I pulled over and we put jackets on.  I did that more because of threatening skies than anything else.  That turned out to be a good move. Within the next 10 miles the temperature dropped to 66.  The rain had held off long enough and we were getting damp.  It was not a downpour but we knew the rain was happening.

I ran as long as I could go before pulling in for gas about 5 miles from our final destination – Missoula.  The skies were really dark but the bike was certainly in need of gas.  I was seeing lightening as we raced the last 5 miles to the hotel.  As we pulled in to the parking lot at the hotel the skies were black and the thunder was rolling.  I think this is the fastest we ever unloaded our luggage off of the bike.  We were in for the night.  (It still hasn’t rained as I write this.)

I spent an hour trying to find a motel room in Billings, MT for tomorrow night.  I ended up finding something at a very expensive rate but I was getting desperate.  There must be a Quilting Convention in Billings tomorrow. 

We had survived a 35 degree temperature swing.  I’m worn out.  Tomorrow is another day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s